A TV news station in Wisconsin isn’t laughing over a couple of pranksters getting air time on their morning show late last year, and it is now suing the men responsible for copyright infringement for using footage of the incident without the station’s permission.
The pranksters, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, used fake names and materials to pose as faux fitness duo “Chop & Steele” and get on WEAU’s flagship morning show, Hello Wisconsin.
While on the show, the duo performed ridiculous workout demonstrations, such as karate chopping unimpressive sticks, throwing those sticks at each other, stomping on wicker baskets, and whacking each other with tennis rackets.
A news release identified Chop & Steele as “Joe ‘Chop’ Shopsin” and “Nicholas ‘Steele’ Stelling” and said they would perform in a series of free live events “using their muscles to entertain and educate,” promote unity and “address the subject of bullying and ways to prevent it through humor, courage and self-respect.”
The news release claimed the pair has appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” “Steve Harvey” and the Hallmark Channel’s “Marie” and as featured entertainers at Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration.
… On Nov. 29, Pickett and Prueher arrived at WEAU, identifying themselves as Chop and Steele. During their live appearance on the show, “‘Chop’ discussed the violent outbursts he was prone to while abusing steroids and his wealthy upbringing, while ‘Steele’ discussed his ‘body-image issues’ and his impoverished upbringing.”
The station is asking the court to find that the duo committed copyright infringement by showing the footage at a film festival. The station is also seeking payment for the duo’s “profits, gains, advantages and the value of the business opportunities received from the infringement.”